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Used Licenses Help Cut the Digital Workplace TCO

February 28 2020Marten Bütow

“Like new, only used once” – you’ve seen that before, right? Anyone who browses Amazon or eBay sees it all the time. Unfortunately, it’s rarely true. When the pages start falling out of the book that was advertised as “minimal signs of wear” as soon as you crack it open, it’s time for a big fat negative rating. But companies that take advantage of used software licenses don’t face risks like this – and can cut costs for the digital workplace.

Reduce costs for the digital workplace

In my last article I recommended that before you start a digital workplace project or implement new Office packages, you should carefully review what users at your company actually need, so you can cut costs. But there’s another way to cut licensing costs, in addition to choosing the right number of licenses and services: reusing used licenses. But reservations against using licenses from the “bargain bin” are widespread at many companies. Agents without the “double-0” aren’t in demand.

Using used licenses

In fact, there is a market for used software licenses – a kind of digital eBay for business software, which you should consider for your digital workplace. Many companies have software licenses that they no longer use. Mergers and acquisitions can result in this situation, for example: when two companies become one, only one volume license is needed. The other has become useless. But the company can monetize it by selling it to a used-license dealer. The European Court of Justice ruled in 2012 that the resale of software licenses is legal.

The dealer can then offer the second-hand license much more cheaply than a “new” license – even though licenses are virtual assets that never get rusty or moldy. The only negative: part of the 10-year support for the licenses has already been claimed, depending on how long the licenses have been in use. Otherwise, the provider of these “bargain bin” licenses ensures that they are transferred cleanly and legally compliantly. In other words, the licenses really are “like new, with minimal signs of wear.” Using used licenses can cut costs significantly – usually up to 30 percent, and up to 75 percent in individual cases. That’s a powerful argument as I see it.

Integration in the digital workplace concept

As part of an end-to-end collaboration concept, this licensing model can make a significant contribution to cost reduction. Discounts of 50 percent and more can be attained compared to “new” licenses. And when you know how large a role license costs play in the provisioning of collaboration services at a company, you should at least give it some thought as a conscientious IT manager.

Like Paw Patrol’s Rocky says: “Don’t lose it, reuse it!”. The total cost of ownership for collaboration workplaces will benefit as a result. The digital workplace won’t only boast new features, but also lower costs.

Experienced digital workplace providers also offer software asset management to their customers as part of the ecosystem/portfolio. This can help to achieve the optimal license situation – which will pay off later in the cold, hard cash that the company saves. Permanently. Give it some thought.

About the author

Marten Bütow

Senior Solution Sales Manager, T-Systems International GmbH

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